Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gage n.1

[SE gage, a measure or, alternatively, a pledge, and thus, in the drinking context, a toast]

1. (UK Und., also gauge) a mug holding a quart (2pt/1l) of beer; occas. a pint.

[UK]Promptuarium Parvulorum (1843) 186/1: Gage, lytylle belle (S. lytyll bolle).
[UK]Harman Caveat for Common Cursetours in Viles & Furnivall (1907) 83: a gage, a quarte pot.
[UK]Groundworke of Conny-catching Ch. 13: These drunken Tinkers, called also Prigs, be beastly people [...] They lays the same to gage, or sell it outright for bene bouse at their bousing ken.
[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd) C: The Grand Signior called for a Gage of Bowse, which belike signified a quart of drinke.
[UK]Middleton & Dekker Roaring Girle V i: A gage of ben rom-bouse / In a bousing ken of Rom-vile.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canting Song’ Eng. Villainies (8th edn) O2: In a Bowsing Ken weele cast. There (if Loure we want) Ile Mill a Gage, or Nip for thee a Boung.
[UK]Dekker ‘Canters Dict.’ Eng. Villainies (9th edn).
[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 37: [We] tipt to each other a Gage of Booz.
[UK] ‘The Rogues [...] praise of his Stroling Mort’ Head Canting Academy (1674) 20: [as cit. 1637].
[UK]R. Holme Academy of Armory Ch. iii item 68c: Canting Terms used by Beggars, Vagabonds, Cheaters, Cripples and Bedlams. [...] Gage, a Quart Pot.
[UK]Hell Upon Earth 5: Gage, a Pot.
[UK]Canting Academy, or the Pedlar’s-French Dict. 118: Friend, will you spend your two-Pence for a Pot of good Ale? Coll, will you fence your Duce for a Gage of Rum Bues?
[UK]Life and Character of Moll King 11: Let me see, [...] a Double Gage of Rum Slobber, is Thrums; and a Quartern of Max, is three Megs.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]D. Haggart Autobiog. 58: I gave him a tanner, and desired him to go for a gauge.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.

2. (also gagg) any mug or container.

[UK]Dekker Belman of London (3rd) J3: I will lage it off with a gage of bene bowse.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Beggar’s Bush III iv: I crown thy nab with a gage of ben bouse.
[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew II i: I bowse no Lage, but a whole Gage / Of this I’ll bowse to you.
[UK] in B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Gage c. a Pot or Pipe.
[UK]A. Smith Lives of Most Notorious Highway-men, etc. (1926) 206: Gage, a pot, or pipe. Tip me a gage, i.e., give me a pot or pipe, or hand hither the pot or pipe.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 18: A Pot or Pipe – Gagg.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) 184: Tip me a gage of fogus, Jerry.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 50: Fuzzy stewed it [mutton] in a laggingage, and said it was bona mongary.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. 140: gage [...] ‘a gage of gin,’ a glassful.
[UK]Sl. Dict.

3. (also gagg) a pipe, a pipeful of tobacco.

[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 49: Gage, A Pot or Pipe.
see sense 2.
see sense 2.
see sense 2.
[UK]B.M. Carew Life and Adventures.
[UK]Scoundrel’s Dict. 18: A Pot or Pipe – Gagg.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Gage [...] & also a Pipe, as a Gage of Focus.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn) n.p.: Gage of Focus. A pipe of tobacco.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1788].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK](con. 1737–9) W.H. Ainsworth Rookwood (1857) III Ch. v: Tip me a gage of focus, Jerry.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 17 Apr. 6/1: There’s no covies o the country pad, vot has a brainbox vorth a gage of fogus (pipe of tobacco).
[US]J.W. Arnold ‘The Language of Delinquent Boys’ in AS XXII:2 121: Gage. Any form of tobacco, such as cigars, cigarets, or chewing tobacco.

4. a small quantity; thus a gage of tobacco, a gage of gin.

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.

5. (US Und.) cheap whisky.

J.L. Kuetne ‘Prison Parlance’ in AS IX:1 26: gage. Cheap whiskey.
[US]Bo Carter ‘Fat Mouth Blues’ [lyrics] You drink your gage, / You was talkin all out of your head.
[US]L. Shelly Hepcats Jive Talk Dict. n.p.: gage: intoxicating liquor.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 76/2: Gage. [...] 2. Cheap whiskey.